‘I’m just happy I’m alive:’ Kentucky teen helps save family from apartment fire

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Addison Richart, 17, helped save her family from an apartment fire. (Addison Richart)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – A Lexington fire victim shared her story of survival after spending the weekend in the hospital.

Addison Richart, 17, had to jump from a second-floor balcony of the Pinebrook Apartments early Friday morning after she woke up to dogs barking.

“I woke up and I looked outside. I looked at the door and there was flames and smoke coming in,” Richart said.

Richart woke up her aunt and father and, with no other way out, headed for the balcony.

“The thought was, ‘I’d rather fall than burn and since I was the youngest,’ I was like I’m gonna heal the fastest from this and it’ll affect me the least,” Richart said. “So I had hope that I would survive the jump and I did, I mean it could have been a whole lot worse.”

Richart said she jumped about 15 feet from the second floor onto concrete below. She fractured her tibia and her ankle in the fall, but still had the strength to catch a woman and a dog, and lower them to safety.

The experience is still surreal to her.

“I honestly don’t know how to explain the feeling of just how I got up and how I did that. It doesn’t make sense to me in my head when I think about it,” Richart said.

At times, it’s been harrowing.

“I have a lot of flashbacks, and I feel as if I’m stuck in the fire pretty often and can’t get out,” Richart said.

It’ll be a long road ahead to recovery for the teenager. Richart is scheduled for another surgery next week, but her mother said Richart has stayed strong throughout.

“It’s going to take me a long time to be okay after that, but I mean I’m just happy I’m alive really,” Richart said.

Richart’s aunt remains in the hospital, and one dog is under medical observation.

Richart’s mother has started a fundraiser to help cover her medical costs and create a ramp for her wheelchair.

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